Agri marketing centres in UP a ‘hub of thieves’


The Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Subodh Kant Sahay, on Friday pointed out that Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act (APMC) in its present form is acting as a hurdle in agriculture investment across the state.

“Mandi Parishads in UP have become a hub of thieves. The Act is restricting private investment. Thus the government (state) should amend the Act and allow contract farming,” said Sahay, who was in Lucknow on Friday.

According to him, the Centre wants to usher in investment in the agriculture sector in the state but the Act does not allow the same.

In Uttar Pradesh, the agriculture produce is governed by Uttar Pradesh Krishi Utpadan Mandi Adhiniyam, 1964. This Act does not allow direct sale or purchase from the farmer’s field by private players. There is also no provision for any kind of institutional support for contract farming. Farmers are allowed to sell their produce only through the Mandi Parishad.
“We have been trying to convince private sectors to invest in UP. While as such there is no infrastructure to attract investment, the APMC Act adds to the woes,” said Sahay, adding, “There is no administrative culture and no policy for investment in UP.”

He also blamed the poor post-harvest management in the state for lack of investment. Farmers have to sell their produce in haste, as there is no proper supply chain or cold chain, he said.

Criticising the state on lack of management and planning regarding agriculture produce, Sahay said the Centre is ready to pay Rs 50 crore for developing food parks and Rs 10 crore for cold chain but the state government has always failed to present a proper proposal for the same. “For the last six years, there has not been a proper proposal from the state to make use of the funds from by the Centre,” he added.

Speaking about the Maoist menace, the minister from Jharkhand, said incidents like Dantewada have occurred due to the apathy of the state governments, who are adopting a casual attitude towards tackling this menace.

“States have to be on the frontline while tackling the issue and Centre can only give back up support. The Centre sends money for development of the area but states are not bothered to utilise them. It is for this reason that youths are attracted towards the Maoists to earn a living,” said Sahay.


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